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Penn State University Libraries

Policies and Guidelines

HUMAN RESOURCES

Policy UL-HR06 SABBATICAL LEAVES AND ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REVIEWS

Contents:

  • Purpose
  • Background
  • Procedures
  • . . . . Proposal as Workplan
  • . . . . Review of Progress
  • . . . . The Rating
  • . . . . Final Report
  • Cross References

PURPOSE:

To state the University Libraries’ position on the annual performance review process for faculty on sabbatical leave.

BACKGROUND:

For a number of years, it has been the practice of the University Libraries to recommend a rating of “meets expectations” (or a 3) for faculty members for the year in which they take their sabbatical leave.  Based upon recommendations received from the LFO Faculty Affairs Committee, the annual performance review process will include an assessment of scholarly work accomplished during the sabbatical leave.

PROCEDURES:

Proposal as Workplan:

The sabbatical proposal will become a part of the projected annual workplan for the faculty member.  If the faculty member works January through June and is on sabbatical leave the following six months, the workplan will have two parts—one emphasizing librarianship in January through June and the second emphasizing research in June through December.  In the case of a year-long sabbatical stretching over two calendar years (July of year one through June of year two), workplans for each year would include six months with research as the sole emphasis and six months with a more typical distribution of effort among librarianship, service, etc.   “Workplans” for sabbatical time will include a set of objectives and benchmarks or milestones for achievement based on the sabbatical goals originally proposed by the faculty member.  These will be sufficiently explicit to enable a unit head to judge the progress being made.

Review of Progress:

Sabbatical leave progress by a faculty member will be evaluated by the unit head as part of the annual evaluation, based on the sabbatical proposal/workplan.  Depending on the nature of that plan, results and accomplishments will be reported and assessed, with room for latitude since often the direction and nature of the project can change as the work progresses.  The unit head and/or assistant/associate dean will be informed if there are significant changes in the project during the leave.  Most project proposals include certain benchmarks or milestones to show how the work will progress; these will be the guideposts for evaluation of progress.   Reasonable latitude will be provided to the faculty member for the sometimes unpredictable working of the creative process; however, to expect to not be assessed at all on progress and accomplishments during the leave is unrealistic.  Even if the research consists of reading, analysis, and preliminary drafting of documents for eventual presentation or publication, a bibliography of what was read, outlines, and drafts will be presented for review.

The Rating:

The decision of the unit head about a rating for the faculty member remains a recommendation to the assistant/associate dean and the dean.  When it must account for both regular working time and sabbatical leave time, then it must represent a balance between the accomplishments of the two time periods.  It will be based on the report and self-assessment of the faculty member, compared to the workplans for those time periods, and any supporting documents provided (such as bibliographies, article drafts, etc.).

Final Report:

According to HR 17, “At the conclusion of the sabbatical leave, the recipient must submit a report of the work accomplished. . . .  The report should indicate how the experience improved the recipient’s capacity to serve the University.”  This report of the sabbatical leave must be prepared within two months of the faculty member’s return as a separate document, apart from the annual review process.  It must be a substantive document describing in reasonable detail what was done during the leave time and the results and impacts of those efforts.  It could include bibliographies, copies of documents prepared, evidence of proposals made for publication, presentation, grants, etc.

CROSS REFERENCES:

Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

Guideline UL-HRG05 Annual Performance Reviews

Guideline UL-HRG06 Summary Performance Evaluations


Effective Date: June 12, 2006
Date Approved: June 12, 2006 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • June 12, 2006 – New policy

Last Review Date:  November 2009